Did It Make A Difference?

 Grace 201229Here we are at the end of January, gray skies, cold weather, a little snow and we have this memory of last month……What was it again?  Oh yes, the Baby Jesus was born, that’s what it was, so cute and cuddly, Silent Night and Away in a Manger!  It was great!  Loved the whole celebration!  Yet…….

Did it make a difference?  Is Jesus still in the manger to you?  If He is are you going to leave Him there?  It would be a lot simpler if we did!  Jesus has been baptized, tempted in the wilderness, and begins His ministry by teaching in his hometown of Nazareth!  The town invited him to teach and preach in the synagogue and all was well until…..

He turned to the written scroll and started talking about how the Spirit of the Lord is upon him to bring Good News to the poor and set the captive free!  Then, not so much.  They drove him out of town and were ready to throw him off the cliff.   

What Jesus did made a difference in the lives of those he walked, talked and preached many years ago, and they didn’t talk much about His birth I am guessing.  The light has come into the world and is out of the manger and His words still ring true.  Come hear about this man that was driven out of His hometown.  You may jump on board and be driven yourself!

See You Sunday,

Praying the Spirit of the Lord upon us All,

Pastor Brenda

Feed the World

World Hunger boxesRemember to turn your World Hunger Boxes in this Sunday, January 27, 2013.  Let’s make a whole big stack of them!  Fifty cents will buy a pound of seed to grow food.  One dollar adds a chick to a family’s egg business.  Ten dollars provides a fruit tree seedling.  Forty dollars offers a month of meals for an orphan.  You can, of course, contribute to World Hunger anytime through your contribution envelopes or go to the web  www.elca.org/hunger/donate

 

“This Isn’t Your Grandparent’s Church Anymore”

NO, that doesn’t mean grandparents aren’t welcome or a part of the church.  No, by no means!. But the church that was so comfortable and so much a part of people’s lives in years gone by, well it doesn’t seem to be working like it did fifty, seventy-five or a hundred and twenty years ago. 

 Society is changing at a faster pace.  Some things are good and some things are not so good.  Church doesn’t hold the valued place in people’s lives like it once did.  In our fast and complex world, people are having a harder time fitting church into their life.  So what does it mean to be “church” in our time?  How does the essential message of the church get communicated to people?  How do people access church?  How do they participate in church? 

 These are questions that the “church” has to wrestle with now.  What and where are the answers?  That is not clear.  At the same time, as church members come together to deal with this challenge, there will be growth towards a way to continue making sure that “church” is something powerful in the lives of believers.  Will you join in this journey?  Listen for opportunities to wrestle with these issues in the weeks and months ahead.  Talk to the pastors about your thoughts and ideas.  

 

Finding Faith Without Fanaticism!

Hirschfield bookDoes this statement resonate with you?  “You Don’t Have To Be Wrong For Me To Be Right.” That’s the title of the book written by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield that the 7:30 morning group will be reading and discussing beginning January 23rd, 2013.  Please contact Pastor Brenda or the church office if you are interesting in this conversation!  Remember, the coffee is always fresh!

 

You still have time to join us!  We have books, room and it promises to be a great conversation!  Pastor Brenda

Are You The One?

I didn’t do it!  I’m not the one you’re looking to meet your needs?  When is the last time you had to say those words? 

Was it when someone did something wrong?  Was it when a huge job had to be done in your work, home life, or even in the church?  Did you say it’s not me look elsewhere?

John the Baptizer is saying those words.  The people have asked him if he is the “Messiah” After giving them the business, basically shape up!  They wonder if he is who will save them.  John says tells them, no not me.  One is coming far more powerful and worthy then I and will baptize with the “Holy Spirit and fire!”  And He comes, Jesus and is baptized with the heaven’s opening and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove!  Angels and prophets had been speaking in Luke, but now God speaks.  Listen to him because God is telling you he is pleased with his Son, Jesus Christ (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22). 

News Flash!  We are the children of this great Messiah!  He claims us, signed, sealed and delivered!  Come join us this Sunday to hear about our life in Baptism, and hear about the “Image Project” from Deb Pangerl! 

Claimed With You By God,

Pastor BrendaGrace 201226

Making Pilgrimages

sassetta-giovanni-journey-of-the-magi1

In years gone by, making a pilgrimage was an act of devotion.  Christian pilgrims would travel to holy places.  Mont St. Michel, on the western coast of France was a holy place.  As pilgrims came within ten to fifteen miles, they could see the majestic cathedral atop the natural rock formation. 

Following a star that seemed oddly out of place and new in the sky, three or more “wise men” or astrologers came to Bethlehem.  They were not Jewish.  They were not the ones you might expect at the birth of a savior of the Jews.  Yet, Matthew reports they came from the east.  They came bearing gifts.  They knelt before a baby in a manger.  Does this strike you as strange?

 Do we make pilgrimages?  We probably do to see sights.  We make pilgrimages to see new grandchildren.  We do make pilgrimages.  In fact, is it possible to think that our travels to church on Sunday are pilgrimages?  Do we make a pilgrimage to kneel before our savior on Sundays?  Do we offer of ourselves to this one born “king of the Jews”?  I think we make more pilgrimages to the presence of Jesus than we realize.  And what happens when we do ?

Pastor Doug

An offering for the Maasai girls

school-girls-for-blog

The noisy offering on January 13 will be going to the Image Project for the building of a new secondary school for Maasai girls in Tanzania, East Africa. Dedicated to providing educational and economic opportunities for Maasai girls and women since 2000, hundreds of girls have been sponsored to attend secondary school, a primary school built, and goat, chicken and irrigation projects implemented. Women have become empowered and now able to help provide for the needs of their children.

Deb Pangerl, co-founder of the Image Project from Rush City, will be speaking to our congregation on January 13 to share the huge impact this project has had on the lives of the Maasai. along with the challenges of educating Maasai girls. It is through the kindness and generosity of so many that this project exists and is able to make a difference in the world.

Here is a link to a video about the project.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fr0yefw3yxq9w8i/IMAGE_Project_School_720p.mp4